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Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Epilobium sp.

Epilobium sp.

This is one of my all-time favourite photographs.

The capsules of this unidentified species of Epilobium (or willow-herb) have split open, revealing a mass of seeds tufted by silky white hairs. As you might guess, the hairs aid in wind dispersal. Since wind-dispersed seeds can travel long distances, this species is likely fairly generic in the conditions it requires for germination and growth; seeds which only travel a short distance are more likely to find conditions similar to the parent and can therefore be expected to have more specific growth requirements. There are disadvantages to the short-distance dispersal strategy, though, particularly for perennial plants; these include potential for inbreeding and competition for resources.

Photography resource link: Petteri Sulonen's Why Most Landscapes Suck. I should qualify this link by saying that even though I add a link to a photography resource, I may not actually agree with some or all of the opinions therein. I do, however, subscribe to the notion that thought-provoking articles are worthwhile, particularly if they force (re)examination of ideas and beliefs.

2 Comments

I'm impressed by the detail of your macro shots. Images like these open our eyes to the beauty and design of even the most seemingly humble biological mechanisms. Thank you.

Matt, you're welcome. The macro lens I use is worth a pretty penny, but I think it's been a worthwhile investment (for other readers, check out equipment used here: About Botany Photo of the Day).

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